Torture Tunes

Facebook Twitter Google



When I saw the “In My Dreams” video on MTV around 1986, I never imagined George Lynch collaborating with Michael Sweet. If I did, that song title would have described my state of mind. Well, here we are, in 2015, and Sweet & Lynch have released a CD called Only to Rise.

I’m reminded of an album called Leather and Lace. It is a compilation of songs of the finest men and women of seventies and eighties pop and rock: Cher and Stevie Nicks (gee, I wonder why?), Bad English and Bad Company. It’s self-explanatory that Lynch brings the “leather” and Sweet the “lace.” But that lace RAWKS, and we know it.

“IT JUST ROCKS”-those were the three words on the YouTube video for “Only to Rise”. Why? It has a large percentage of Stryper in it. Brian Tichy plays drums for this duo; I wonder if one of his influences is Robert - continuing on the subject of percussion-and Stryper-check out the rolling drums as the song fades. Furthermore, Michael has his well-known, high-pitched scream. It made me think of “Legacy.”

In “Dying Rose,” this is where the leather is finely polished and lace is so transparent and so real. “If it feeds your spirit, it shows you that faith is all that you need.” I’ve noticed there have been all of these many strange sub-genres of rock, such as surfer rock or folk punk rock. If there’s one called motivational rock, this would be a great song for it.

Never in my life have I heard so many romantic songs from Michael. “Recover” starts with a line about being a one-woman man, and “The Wish” with “What I would do to hold you/to smell you on my skin”. I’m not saying that to sound gushy by any means. Michael has always had a beautiful voice, we’ve always known that. There isn’t a song he has had, whether with Stryper or as a solo artist, that hasn’t uplifted me. I’m saying this to commend him for broadening his lyrical horizons and writing lyrics like these.

I get the impression Lynch rubbed off on him in “Me without You”. I heard some “Alone Again” in this. If I were to compare “Me without You” to “Rescue Me”, I feel like the lyrics in “Rescue Me,” express an unreasonable dependence on the woman in question in the song. It’s as if she’s going to solve all his problems, and he can depend on her to make his life better. In my humble opinion, that’s not like Michael. However, musically, “Rescue Me” has great drive all throughout, great integration.

That speaks for every song on Only to Rise. So take from me my lace? No, don’t you dare! I’d like some leather in addition to that.

Julia Pope, HMS

Older reviews